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Cubs vs. Brewers at Mesa preview, Saturday 2/23, 2:05 CT

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Spring training baseball, at last!

Al Yellon

MESA, Arizona — So, Game 164?

Not really, of course. But it’s fun to realize that the first time the Cubs will be on the field in 2019 will be against the team that forced them into the wild-card game last October. The Cubs and Brewers do have a nascent rivalry, and that’s good for the game.

And, in general, it’s good to have real baseball, with real Cubs players, on the field, even though this one is just for practice. It occurs to me that there likely won’t be as many guys from the minor league camp in big-league spring games this year, at least not for the first couple of weeks. Why? Well, there are 70 (!) players in camp this year, including 40 (!) pitchers. They’ll have to find work for all of those guys before the minor leaguers get to play.

The weather forecast reads more like Opening Day in Chicago than Opening Day for the Cactus League, with temperatures in the mid-50s. The normal high temperature for February 23 in Mesa is 70. Fortunately, it’s supposed to warm up and be in the 70s by early next week, much better baseball weather.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Baez SS, Descalso 2B, Contreras DH, Adduci 1B, Davis C, Field LF, Hannemann CF

Brewers lineup:

Spangenberg LF, Saladino SS, Thames DH, Pina C, Orf 3B, Taylor RF, Ray CF, Dubon 2B, Nottingham 1B

Jen-Ho Tseng will start for the Cubs. Also scheduled for the Cubs today: Alberto Baldonado, Craig Brooks, Matt Carasiti, Oscar De La Cruz, Carlos Ramirez, Rowan Wick and Mike Zagurski. Thus, don’t expect any of these guys to go more than one inning. And pretty much zero of these guys have any shot at the Opening Day roster.

We aren’t likely to see the five pitchers who will make up the Cubs rotation this year in games until next week.

Chase Anderson will go for the Brewers. Zach Davies will also see action on the mound for Milwaukee.

Today’s game is on 670 The Score. No TV today.

MLB.com Gameday

Please note that during spring training, Gameday doesn’t usually go pitch-by-pitch as it does during the regular season — usually, it will update after each at-bat.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. If you do go there to interact with Brewers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

For spring-training games, we’ll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT.

These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked ”Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page. There will also be a StoryStream on the front page with all the game thread links, as well as the recap after the game is over. The pitcher boxes and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.